Kids tend to have a natural affinity to animals, and helping defenceless creatures can teach them about the importance of conservation and why it’s essential to look after our animal friends.
Animal Rescue Centre in Puyo, Ecuador
What you need to know
This is the perfect family volunteer programme, as they accept kids from the ages of 8 and older.
In the rainforest in Puyo, Ecuador you’ll have an awesome chance to help animals in trouble. The Animal Rescue Centre has been around since 2006 helping wild animals that have been illegally as pets, affected by diseases or subjected to neglect and mismanagement. They try and get the animals back into the wild, but sometimes this isn’t always possible. With this in mind, the centre is created to be as close to its natural surroundings as possible.
The centre is in Puyo, which is about 5 hours from Quito, in the middle of the rain forest and 900m above sea level! What awesome surroundings. You don’t have to worry about sweating up a storm here, as it’s quite high up temperatures range between 18 and 244 degrees, which is certainly manageable. You do get rain, but you’ll probably see it as a nice cooling down session!
What will you do?
There are over 40 species of animals at the centre, including capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys, ocelots, coatis, turtles, capybaror, caimans, macaws and other parrots. New animals arrive all the time. You’ll mainly look after the animals by feeding them and making sure they’ve got enough water, but you’ll also get involved in helping to improve and restore the centre; so a bit of building can be involved too. You and the kids will love it!
You’ll generally work from 8:30am to 5pm and then on Saturday mornings you’ll help feed the animals.
The centre believes in all suggestions and as they say, “Remember that it is your imagination and your creativity that sets the limit for how much you learn and give during your volunteer time!”
How will you make a difference?
Basically you will be caring for animals in need to help them to recover and allow them to manage on their own again in the wild if possible. You’ll also be helping to keep the centre in tip-top condition.
Other important information
This project in Ecuador is run with a local NGO and due to this partnership the volunteering you’ll experience here is well organised and safe.
You’ll live in a small wooden cabin with 4 volunteers. There are beds with sheets and a toilet and shower, but no hot water. But considering you’re in the jungle, this won’t be a problem. Your food is included; you’ll cook your own breakfast while lunch and dinner are provided. There are approximately 14 to 16 volunteers at a time.
Your family can immerse yourself in a new culture and during your free time explore the awesome surroundings; you can see the rainforest with its waterfalls; go into nearby towns such as Baños, where adventure sports are offered! On Wednesday evenings you’ll go with the staff to a local restaurant; that would be awesome.
Check out their website for more information on the project.
This is a great opportunity for your family to help out animals in a gorgeous part of the world!